In some families, the first hunting trip is a rite of passage. In others, it is a tradition that creates close bonds and yields tasty results. Hunting is an incredibly practical way to provide food for months at a time and is also one of America’s favorite pastimes. For those about to embark on their first hunting journey, here are several tips that can help you navigate the process while staying safe and having fun!
1- Prepare Thoroughly for the Hunting Expedition
Before your first hunting trip it is mandatory that you make the proper preparations to create a successful expedition. Proper hunting preparations typically include the purchase of standard hunting equipment as well as food and beverage products to utilize during the trip. It is also essential to prepare wilderness survival kits in case of unexpected emergencies.
2- Educate Yourself About the Animal You Are Hunting
It is also vital that you educate yourself about the specific animal you are hunting, its migratory and sleeping patterns, and the best ways of capturing it. By becoming knowledgeable of the animal’s patterns, you can better prepare for the hunting experience and make changes to the established plan based on daily circumstances.
3- Take Practical Steps To Ensure Your Group’s Safety
Hunting with a group is always preferable to hunting alone. Group settings provide ample protection against predators and natural elements. To ensure group safety, it is best to discuss hunting trails and expected pathways before you leave for the trip. This way, everyone in the hunting party is always aware of the location of their companions and is fully aware of any emergency or exit strategies.
4- Make Sure That You Are Following Federal and State Hunting Laws
Although federal laws that dictate hunting seasons and protocols are always applicable, hunters should explore local hunting laws prior to the first hunting trip. Unlike federal laws, local laws vary drastically from region to region and should be explored no more than three months ahead of the hunting expedition. By checking the local hunting laws three months before the trip, hunters can usually avoid frequent changes that are made in the laws and gain enough time to appropriately adhere to strict guidelines.
5- Bring Along an Expert Hunter
It is a general rule of thumb for first time hunters to include at least one expert hunter in their hunting party. Expert hunters generally have a knowledgeable response to any dangers that may present themselves in the wilderness. Expert hunters can also help to drastically reduce the amount of time the hunting trips takes due to their mastery of the skill.
6- Research Weather Patterns and Effects on Animals
Researching local weather patterns and their effects on the behavior of the animal that is being hunted can help new hunters to gain the confidence needed for a successful expedition. Weather patterns can be indicative of specific animal behaviors and could benefit or hinder a hunter’s success. Authority websites that list appropriate weather patterns for hunting specific animals are extremely helpful for this process.
7- Update Location Services on All Smart Devices
In the era of modern technology, smart devices play a huge role in all sorts of tasks, including hunting. Before embarking on a hunting expedition, be sure to update location services on the smart devices. Apple and Android users can allow friends and family members to view their geographical location by enabling this feature in the settings of the phone. Hunters can also drop a location pin with smart devices when they arrive at the hunting venue.
8- Remember to Have Fun
Finally, new hunters should remember to relax and that hunting is an extremely enjoyable hobby to most people. Technical issues and preparation for hunting trips can cause new hunters to focus on the logistics of the trip rather than the excitement of the trip. It is important to the development of longevity within the sport that new hunters learn to enjoy the entire hunting process, from preparation to execution. Hunting can be an emotionally binding experience and the time spent with loved ones can be just as enjoyable as the act of hunting itself. By taking the time to enjoy the hunting process, new hunters can virtually ensure that the sport becomes a lifelong skill that can be enjoyed for years to come.